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Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Working Papers
Subprime outcomes: risky mortgages, homeownership experiences, and foreclosures
Kristopher S. Gerardi
Adam Hale Shapiro
Paul S. Willen
Abstract

This paper provides the first rigorous assessment of the homeownership experiences of subprime borrowers. We consider homeowners who used subprime mortgages to buy their homes, and estimate how often these borrowers end up in foreclosure. In order to evaluate these issues, we analyze homeownership experiences in Massachusetts over the 1989–2007 period using a competing risks, proportional hazard framework. We present two main findings. First, homeownerships that begin with a subprime purchase mortgage end up in foreclosure almost 20 percent of the time, or more than 6 times as often as experiences that begin with prime purchase mortgages. Second, house price appreciation plays a dominant role in generating foreclosures. In fact, we attribute most of the dramatic rise in Massachusetts foreclosures during 2006 and 2007 to the decline in house prices that began in the summer of 2005.


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Kristopher S. Gerardi & Adam Hale Shapiro & Paul S. Willen, Subprime outcomes: risky mortgages, homeownership experiences, and foreclosures, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Working Papers 07-15, 2007.
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Keywords: Mortgage loans - Massachusetts ; Foreclosure - Massachusetts ; Home ownership - Massachusetts
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